Ancient statues of nude figures were previously reserved for the portrayal of males – the concept of heroic nudity. The turning point occurred during the 4th century BC with the Athenian sculptor, Praxiteles’s monumental work – Aphrodite of Knidos. The famous statue depicts a life-size nude of Aphrodite preparing for a ritual bath and was celebrated for its beauty and sensuality. Pliny the Elder called it “superior to all the works in the whole world.” This sparked the proliferation of female nude statues during the Hellenistic and Roman period. Despite the Greek original being no longer in existence, many Roman copies survived. The two most representative variants of this prototype are the Medici Venus in Uffizi Gallery, Florence and the Capitoline Venus in the Capitoline Museums, Rome. Not only do they attest to a revolutionary moment of Classical art but continued to inspire the future generation such as Botticelli in his Renaissance masterpiece – Birth of Venus.
Roman Marble Fragment of a Nude Female Lower Torso
A Roman, marble statue fragment, depicting the lower torso of a nude female. The fragment clearly depicts the rounded buttocks and thighs of a woman. The left thigh leans forward slightly, angling the direction of the hips and suggesting that the nude female must have been depicted standing with the weight on her right leg. This pose of standing with weight on one leg is typical of statues of classical antiquity and is known as ‘contrapposto‘. Signs of degradation consistent with age can be seen on the statue. The piece is mounted on a custom-made stand. Height indicated includes the height of the stand.
Provenance: Ex Paris collection. French gallery, Paris, formed 1990-2000s.
Condition: Fair condition. Signs of degradation consistent with age.